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The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

92






Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: Theatrical Version 100 minutes / Unrated Directors Cut 104 minutes / Unrated Extended Cut 101 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller


Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English, French, Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, English Audio Description track Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Angelina Jolie, Daniel Olbrychski, Liev Schreiber
Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Written by: Kurt Wimmer
Region Code: A/B/C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 21, 2010







"Who is Salt?"



Film Synopsis:


Angelina Jolie stars in Columbia Pictures' Salt, a contemporary espionage thriller. Before becoming a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Jolie) swore an oath to duty, honor, and country. She will prove loyal to these when a defector accuses her of being a Russian sleeper spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture, protect her husband, and stay one step ahead of her colleagues at the CIA.




My Take:


Some 30 years after the end of the cold war and we have 'Salt', portraying Russians as super secret sleeper cell spies who do shots of Vodka as they plan to take over America from within. I can easily suspend reality and forgive liberties writers take to present a story. But this I just wasn't buying. I got every twist and turn well before the unveiling of 'Salts' big secrets. I assume I am not the only one. 'Salt' has a simple enough plot--A CIA agent is told by a Russian defector that she is a 'sleeper' agent while interviewing him. Her superiors and colleague are watching the interview; their and her suspicions are piqued and her superiors (Chiwetel Ejiofor and Liev Schreiber) decide to keep her detained for questioning.


So "Who is Evelyn Salt?". That is the deep question posed to us a we follow Ms. Salts unfortunate situation.


She doesn't hesitate to leave headquarters by any means necessary, claiming her urgency is due to wanting to protect her husband, not her guilt. Her suspicious behavior and escape from CIA headquarters is reason enough for the rest of her team to begin hunting her down. Toss in a assassination and infiltration/take over of the USA plot and 'Salt' sounds like a big movie with big themes, an interesting mystery and the makings of a good action thriller. Unfortunately most of what is laid out is unrealized and it becomes a surprisingly small movie with huge action scenes weaving things together.


There is only so far over-the-top action can take you, and in 'Salt' we get plenty of that. In the first 30 minutes Angelina, in all her MacGyver goodness, makes a pipe bomb out of some bleach, a fire extinguisher and some table legs, escapes being gassed, bombed, then jumps off a bridge onto a semi going 60mph, then jumps from moving truck to truck. This is all before the plot really kicks in.


Combine Jason Bourne, MacGyver, John McClane and some killer legs and we have Evelyn Salt.


Angelina does action well, there is no doubt she is the top female action star, selling all of the insane moves, gun-play and fights. If only her Echaracter had depth. There is the argument that if she is who they say she is, being cold is part of the game. To that I say, having hardly an emotion the whole film blows the connection us as an audience need to feel for her and supposed motivation of protecting her husband.


Writer Kurt Wimmer is very hit-or-miss. He has done such films as Law Abiding Citizen, Street Kings, Ultraviolet and a personal favorite of mine, 2002's Equilibrium. Here he had great ideas but something misfired. This first act is the best part of the film, making us wonder what is and will happen next. As things unfold...well more 'unravel', 'Salt's' deficiency became clearer and clearer to me---The movie lacked heart and human connection--combine that with a plot trying so hard to be clever it tripped over its own shoelaces. Truth be told, for the many plot-holes and lack of connection I had to all the people, places and things in 'Salt', I did have fun with the ride. It was loud, dumb and sexy, and had cool action scenes. Well directed by Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, The Bone Collector), paced and acted, the filmmakers and actors saved this sinking ship. This is a popcorn flick to crank loud, and with low expectations and taking things with a grain of...ummm...ya you know, you might just like it.








Parental Guide:


Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action.




AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 92


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:




Video: 92


  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:
'Salt' exposes itself on Blu-ray Disc from Sony Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26.8 mbps and DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 mbps.

For all its plot shortcomings, 'Salt' makes up for it in visual and aural excitement. The Dynamic DTS-HD MA track was fabulous. The surround presentation was one of the best I have heard, making me feel like I was in the middle of the action on multiple occasions. Bullets whizzed by my head, atmosphere was thick and tangible, all while never seeming over utilized. Explosions worked my sub nicely and the low frequency was deep and smooth. I couldn't find much to complain about with this mix; everything was in its right place. All dialogue was easily heard and was pinpoint perfect in its sound-stage placement.


The 2.40:1 AVC video was great as well. Inky Blacks with nice depth in the shadows are accompanied by details and high resolution throughout. Facial features like wrinkles, pores and stubble were highly discernible, however long shots did tend to look less dimensional, though still showing detail on surroundings like buildings and fabrics. Colors did tend to feel a little warm with a golden hue at times, even though having a natural look to flesh-tones. This was a film-makers choice and not a fault of this unaltered, nicely grainy, and filmic release from Sony.



Bonus Features:

  • Filmmakers Commentary on all 3 versions of the film

  • (HD) Spy Disguise: The Looks of Evelyn Salt

  • (HD) False Identity: Creating A New Reality

  • (HD) The Ultimate Female Action Hero

  • (HD) The Real Agents

  • (HD) The Modern Master of the Political Thriller: Phillip Noyce

  • (HD) SALT: Declassified

  • (HD) Spy Cam: Picture-in-Picture

  • (HD) Trailers: The Tourist, The Green Hornet, Takers, Easy A, Red Hill, Eat Pray Love, The Other Guys, Ticking Clock

  • BD Live enabled

  • movie IQ




Final Thoughts:


Sony's Audio and Video presentation is stunning, making this fun popcorn-flick garner a recommendation. 'Salt' is worth a rental if you go into it with a numb mind, not bothering with the questions the film ask it's viewer. The answers are easy to spot, and the plot is very small for the grandness of the proposed themes. If you were into the film theatrically then snag this release as it's packed with extras and 3, yes 3 versions of the film--the original theatrical release, a directors and an extended cut. I watched the theatrical Cut and didn't watch the other cuts to spot differences, but the runtime is pretty similar for all three.


For your amusement, here is list of Salt's taglines.

Who is Salt?

Salt Kills

Don't Trust Salt

Salt Must Die

--Maybe it's me but those are terribly laughable...Salt Kills....














Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews




Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS50 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen

Pioneer SC27 Receiver (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)

SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer
 

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Lee, I'm really enjoying your reviews. I put this one in my que, and give i a spin. Thanks for the great work.


DJoel
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel
Lee, I'm really enjoying your reviews. I put this one in my que, and give i a spin. Thanks for the great work.


DJoel
Thanks man! Its very nice to hear that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by film113
Just wondering...what are the lengths and differences between the three versions? And which did you watch?
I watched the Theatrical. If anyone watches the others please let us know the differences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber
I watched the theatrical Cut and didn't watch the other cuts to spot differences, but the runtime is pretty similar for all three.
I added "Theatrical Version 100 minutes / Unrated Directors Cut 104 minutes / Unrated Extended Cut 101 minutes" to the review.
 

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Saw this in the theater and it rocked ! Already pre-ordered from Amazon and looking forward to receiving it Tues.
 

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I have to admit watching it the other night it was fantastic. Your review is spot on Lee.
 

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Great review Lee! I missed this one in the theaters so I will have to give it a spin
 

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Hello Lee;

I watched the extended Blu-Ray cut and there are some considerable differences that give the movie more depth and solve some of the problems you had with the theatrical cut. There is a different ending that is more satisfying then the one in the theaters. Angelina Jolie has even more outlandish action sequences than in the original, but, come on, we're all boys and you know we would watch her do anything. As "Salt," she could kick Brad Pitt's "Achilles" ass around the block. The movie is no masterpiece, but its a lot of fun. Treat yourself to the longer version if you buy the Blu-Ray. You'll get your money's worth.
 

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Nice review Lee. I enjoyed the film and was really happy with both the video and audio presentation. This film had a "Bourne" type feel to it. I kept telling myself that Salt is the female version of Bourne.
 

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This movie was simply awesome to say the least!!


Definitely a collectors item. Great action flick and is it me or is Angelina getting more gorgeous these days? Saw the Tourist and was simply blown away. But Salt is definitely the one to see. Collect!


Cheers
 

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Thanks, Lee .. although I would have rented it anyway, since AJ is one of my favorites for various reasons ..


And, I always go in with a "numb mind" ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt /forum/post/19672096


Nice review Lee. I enjoyed the film and was really happy with both the video and audio presentation. This film had a "Bourne" type feel to it. I kept telling myself that Salt is the female version of Bourne.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamE55 /forum/post/19678237


This movie was simply awesome to say the least!!


Definitely a collectors item. Great action flick and is it me or is Angelina getting more gorgeous these days? Saw the Tourist and was simply blown away. But Salt is definitely the one to see. Collect!


Cheers

Glad you loved it, phenomenal audio and video huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn /forum/post/19678451


Thanks, Lee .. although I would have rented it anyway, since AJ is one of my favorites for various reasons ..


And, I always go in with a "numb mind" ..
Cheech and Chong Present: Salt!
 

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Nice review! This is in my queue.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamE55 /forum/post/0


This movie was simply awesome to say the least!!


Definitely a collectors item. Great action flick and is it me or is Angelina getting more gorgeous these days? Saw the Tourist and was simply blown away. But Salt is definitely the one to see. Collect!


Cheers

I agree, she still looked great beaten up.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber /forum/post/19678521


Glad you loved it, phenomenal audio and video huh?

Most definitely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin /forum/post/19678870


I agree, she still looked great beaten up.

It's those amazing and beautiful lips of her that's why. lol!
 
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